animals, plants & veganism .

Disclaimer: I am not a qualified nutritionist or ecologist. For more information about either area, visit and

Ever since I was born, I loved trees beyond almost all else. The way that they stand through time, their age marked concentrically, steadfast for dozens, hundreds or thousands of years. As someone who couldn’t afford to venture abroad in childhood and adolescence, I haven’t met many of the oldest, but hope to one day. Their vastness eludes my understanding. We as individuals are but ants in pale contrast to their tenacity. 

Yet they are all dying. And we all contribute to that in some way, whether when using the toilet or buying that extra bookshelf. Paper, card and wood are all staples to life as we know it. And of the half-billion square kilometres of land on the earth, thirty percent are canvassed in trees. Beautiful souls that we cannot begin to understand the complexity of. 

We have all heard about the deforestation statistics that use football pitches as a measurement unit for rainforest destruction every year, month, week, day and hour. Most also know that the rainforest as a biome is the most bio-diverse. Inconceivably rich in medicine, oil, plant species, animal life and minerals. Not to mention the obvious, trees. And it’s the consumer demands of the West driving unsustainable crop production and resource extraction here. Which brings us to the topic of veganism.

The way that food chains work is that producers (organisms that create their own food) form the basis of life on all levels, for all animals, as nutritional matter passes up the chain, eventually reaching the carnivores at the top. Which begs the question: why is meat bad beyond moral concerns?

To rear animals, extract by-products and slaughter them, they require an over-abundance of food, maximising their meat output. Which sounds really crude and detached. Species that have been bred in such a way that they are unrecognisable from their natural ancestors. To the point where they would not survive in the natural environment anymore. Which is heart-breaking. Regardless of whether it is an organic, grass-fed cow (<3%) or factory-raised.

Not to mention global warming considerations such as methane output, or land requirement, or the effects of meat-based diets on the human physique. What else could explain why heart disease (featuring fatty arteries) is the leading cause of death in the West?

There are countless arguments against meat consumption, even if you try to overlook the gory, systemic and brutality of slaughterhouses. And the abysmal conditions experienced by dairy cows and egg-laying hens. The ones that survive, that is.

Plus, the UN Health Body has classified processed meats such as bacon, sausages and ham as class one carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), matching that of cigarettes, asbestos and arsenic. That bacon in the frying pan may smell and look appetising, but it kills you from the inside out. 

I love plants. They are tasty, easy to cook with and produce satisfying meals. Especially in 2021, where vegan food forms half of the supermarket. Though it is understandable when accessibility and cost affect low-income family ability to avoid meat, dairy and eggs. the way that corporations sell cheap-quality meat products for less than vegetarian and vegan alternatives to low-income families is, nonetheless, despicable.

Whether to placate big-meat and big-dairy conglomerates or sell surplus stock before its expiry, companies have much to answer for. Their unsustainable practices and marketing of unhealthy and straight-up toxic foods to folx with a lower budget. Plus, vegan brands marketing their food several times above the cost of meat should reconsider the value of human life in contrast to their profit margins. Their policies, ethos and approaches ebb insidiously. Unacceptably.

But it’s not just the working-class who suffer. It’s the animals, plants and the planet. Plant protein reigns supreme over animal protein any day of the year, nutritionally and personally.

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